A Mobile Vaccine Unit of Abu Dhabi-based HOPE Consortium Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s HOPE Consortium, which offers vaccine supply chains in the world, has introduced in-country vaccination services with the aim of accelerating global immunisation and eliminating vaccine wastage.

The new solution is “unique” in COVID-19 immunisation as it combines end-to-end vaccine delivery with rapid on-ground deployment of medical and logistics experts and equipment. The combined service will enable countries and communities with limited medical and logistical capacities to absorb the delivered vaccine supplies and inoculate their populations safely and efficiently, with minimal disruption to operations of the local health delivery services.

The HOPE Consortium has partnered with Via Medica International Healthcare to deliver the services. The partners are combining HOPE Consortium’s end-to-end supply chain solution with Via Medica’s capability to deploy on-ground medical experts, immunisation management teams and equipment.

Phased roll out

In Africa, the partners have already begun implementing stage one of the programme, which includes assessing existing on-ground logistics and medical capabilities and infrastructure, and initial deployment of a mobile team of 15 members.

In the second stage, the programme will be scaled up to include a team of up to 40 members tasked with setting-up regional vaccination centres, storage freezers for vaccines and power generation units. Two full- equipped mobile vaccination vehicles, airlifted from Abu Dhabi, will augment the team’s reach beyond the established regional vaccination centres.

Minimising vaccine wastage

The partners are also deploying logistics experts to ensure that the sensitive vaccine supplies are stored and handled in the required storage environments, thus minimising the risk of vaccine wastage. Two additional refrigerated vehicles will support the logistical component of the effort by transporting vaccines from the hub to the immunisation spokes to provide ample vaccine supplies and maintain the momentum of the effort.

In order to “future proof” the effort, the HOPE Consortium’s team will be training the local medical and logistical staff to ensure that local immunisation drives can continue on an efficient course.

Tailoring support

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chairman of the Executive Committee, HOPE Consortium, and Group CEO, Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The combination of Abu Dhabi’s proximity to two-thirds of the globe and our strategic logistics capabilities, allow us to not only deliver millions of vaccines to those in need, but also make sure that every vaccine brings us closer to our collective victory against the pandemic. Through our new in-country support initiative, we recognise the needs of individual countries and, in turn, tailor our services to the capabilities of their healthcare infrastructure through a complete end-to-end solution.”

Frank Ludick, CEO, Via Medica International, said: “Since the emergence of COVID-19, Via Medica has been at the forefront of the global battle against the pandemic, deploying multiple mobile vaccination teams across Abu Dhabi and the UAE. Via Medica has been instrumental in supporting various governments and private sector companies with the provision of turnkey solutions, from serological testing to onsite mass RT-PCR swabbing and testing, combined with onsite COVID-19 vaccinations. We are pleased of our partnership with the HOPE Consortium and to bring our expertise and innovations to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”